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Installing Debian GNU/Linux "Jessie" on a Dell E4310

Introduction

Dell are a US based global supplier of PC computers. Their Lattitude models are business laptops targetted at business and large enterprises who want long life cycles. Their E4310 is a smaller format system with a mid-range CPU. I purchased it second hand in March 2016, running factory installed Microsoft Windows 7. Before installing Linux, the system was first upgraded to Windows 10, then the filesystem was shrunk from within Windows 10 to the smallest possible size leaving just over half of the disk free to install Linux on.

General Hardware Specifications of E4310

Hardware Components Status under Linux Notes
Intel Core i5 M560 2.67 GHz Works No special procedure required during installation
13.3" 1336x768 TFT display (LED backlight) Works No special procedure required during installation
Intel HDA Series Graphics Works No special procedure required during installation
8 GiB DDR3 RAM Works No special procedure required during installation
WDC Scorpio Black 160 GB 2.5" SATA Hard Drive Works No special procedure required during installation
TSSTcorp DVD+/-RW TS-U633J Works No special procedure required during installation
Integrated Intel 82577LM Gbit Ethernet Works No special procedure required during installation
Bluetooth 3.0 +HS Works Drivers loaded, system reports okay
Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6200 802.11 B, G & N Wireless Works Non-free iwlwifi driver required.
2x USB 2.0 ports (one is dual USB and eSATA) Works No special procedure required during installation
DE-15/D-sub 15 VGA out Works No special procedure required during installation
Dell Latitude E series docking station Works No special procedure required during installation
Intel HDA Audio Works No special procedure required during installation
Dell P8F4509 60 Wh Li battery Works No special procedure required during installation
2 Megapixel Web Cam Works No special procedure required during installation
"7-in-1" Card Reader Works No special procedure required during installation
ExpressCard/34 slot 2x PCI Express Port Untested Drivers loaded, system reports okay

This laptop is operating under Kernel version 2.16.7 AMD64

Basic Installation of Debian GNU/Linux "Jessie"

  • All my systems at home run Debian GNU/Linux, of which all but one run AMD64 versions. My servers and family systems run Debian stable.
  • Debian GNU/Linux is freely available from a world wide set of mirrors, for multiple system architectures and in a range of installation media. If you have decent network available at the time of install it's best to use the simple network install CD image and install all other packages on demand over the network. If you are installing without a network, then the DVD images are more complete and allow for a near complete install. All Debian images are designed so that you only need the first disk in the set, to perform the basic install. The disk images can be used to create bootable CD or DVD, bootable USB keys, PXE boot images or as in my case bootable hard disks.
  • The E4310 can boot from HD, DVD, USB or network/PXE. I chose a standard Debian stable KDE DVD. Installation was standard, I then performed a routine upgrade to the most recent version of Debian stable. The install is a standard KDE desktop system, mostly with Debian defaults.
  • All hardware works perfectly with the vanilla Debian stable installation except the WiFi which requires a non-free kernel driver.

Setting up Additional Features for Debian

  • Suspend to disk works, using the default Debian install though I only used it to test it.
  • Touch pad and pointing stic works with default X.org configuration, and up/down scroll option.
  • Hardware "Fn" buttons of back-light, sound volume etc work and integrate with KDE4 "out of the box".

Unresolved Issues

None.

Hardware Reports

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